September 29, 2012

Bobbie Null vs. Barbara A. Whittington

I often wonder what's in a name. My name from the time I was born until I was 18 was Bobbie Ann (Null). Barbara was shortened to Bobbie by my father, so I'm told. I never knew my dad as he died when I was two years old. A story for another time!

After I left West Virginia to move with my husband to Cleveland for a job, my new friends there seemed to think Bobbie was a funny name for a new wife and mother. Bobbie Ann even more so. 

Where I was from having two names was common - down in the hills - and more often than not you were called by those two names. Bobbie Ann, Donna Sue, Ella Louise - myself and two of my sisters. Mother often said all of those names at once when referring to us, especially IF she wasn't happy with us!

When I started back to college, I gave my name as Barbara and from that time on, it stuck. As I began to be published I kept that name as my byline. The name felt more professional and adult. (What did I know?) I finally learned we are not our names. Jeez!!!

As I got older I started wondering what was behind all the name changing.  What was I trying to say? Why did I suffer so much discomfort at being called the name I grew up with?

Who was I really? Who did I want to be? Was I running away from something or wanting to be someone other than who I really was? I suspect the answer might be yes. I'll need to do more pondering on that one.

What's in a name, really? Do we think we can get away from our past by changing our name as we head into our future? 

Whatever the reason for the name change, I have now come full circle. My past has met my present and I am fully comfortable being called Bobbie or Bobbie Ann, which is what my family down home have always called me anyway. They didn't care what city people thought. Bobbie Ann was Bobbie Ann and my friend Billy Joe was Billy Joe. A name is a name and that's that!!!

Both names feel good now, comfortable, but especially Bobbie Ann. It fits like an old coat. Or better yet, like the soft chenille robe I once had that I used to snuggle up in on cool fall evenings and watch the Andy Griffith show. Yes, that is REAL comfort. Coming back to oneself.

How about you, do you have a name you were once called and then felt it no longer fit as your circumstances changed?

Did you have a nickname? Or a name you hated? Or loved? Let me hear about it! Thanks! And bless your heart for stopping by.

PS Remember my novel Vada Faith is at Amazon waiting for you to come on over and take a look at her. Read some of the reviews left by my readers. Friends and strangers alike seem to like Vada Faith.  To tell you the truth, I still like her too.

September 27, 2012

Kate Dooley Wins Copy of Vada Faith

Thanks to Kate Dooley, author and friend, for entering the book review contest I held for my novel Vada Faith.  She won a copy of the paperback of the novel for her lovely review. Here goes! And thanks, Kate.


I think one of the things I liked best about Vada Faith was the author's ability to turn a phrase. She took an old saw and sharpened it, time and again. The character wasn't "all thumbs", she was all fingers. That says so much!

I also loved that I knew the characters. It was like taking a peek into the lives of hometown folk, but in very unusual circumstances. Vada decides to be a surrogate mother, to the disapproval of nearly everyone she knows. She gets hate mail, is verbally assaulted by kinfolk and town folk alike, even debated about on television.

Even though the situation Vada Faith finds herself creating is quite unusual, her reactions, struggles, and soul searching are all things you and I would understand. I would have liked a less tied-up ending, but that's my own preference, an no reflection on the choices the author made.

You will love the book and if you're anything like me, won't be able to put it down. It's one that stayed with me long after I finished reading it. Sometimes, I still catch a glimpse of Vada Faith when I'm out and about.

I finished reading this book in the summer a week after I received it. ( not quite certain of the date. )

Kate Dooley

September 18, 2012

The apple doesn't fall far from....

My collection of short stories, titled Ezra and Other Stories, is almost ready to be put on Kindle thanks to my grandson, Daniel.

He wanted to learn how to turn a manuscript into an e book and here was his chance. I told him if he did it for me I would pay him for his endeavors. Perhaps not quite as much as I paid the company that I used for my first book, Vada Faith, but I'd make it worth his time. Thus we entered into a non contract called money changing hands between a grandma and a grandson. Understood but un uttered was the fact that if he failed I would not hold him to it and would pay him anyway for his time. It's a grandma thing. His smile could warm any heart, particularly mine, this first born grandchild!

So I edited and read and edited and read and kissed the stories good bye and turned them over into his twenty year old hands.

With the stories went half of the payment which we had earlier agreed upon. He needed the money a bit ahead of time because he was traveling on tour with a band to document their concerts and earning college credit. I was proud to help in his endeavor.

Last week when Daniel sent me the e book to proof, I panicked. I coudn't open it on my Kindle. Woe is me --- I'd forgotten to tell him one important thing. For those of you who do not know there are two kinds of e books. Mobi which is the one Kindle uses, and epub which is the one Nook (Barnes and Noble) uses as well as all the other readers out there.  I knew this but neglected to tell Daniel. The fact had gotten buried inside my head which is filled mostly with useless tidbits of information.

At that point, I quickly scanned the internet - I had heard panic in his voice when we spoke - and found a website with instructions for turning an epub book into a mobi. I called Dan with the site and he did the transfer in a matter of seconds, sent it back to me and I opened it with ease.

It looked great. I noted a few mistakes, most of them mine, so now he is busy putting on the corrections between his classes and his long commute to school.

He's going to get credit in my book for creating my e book and he's hoping to get a bit of business to help with his college expenses.

I can't wait to get the e book back and get it on Kindle. I'm so proud of Daniel. He took on this job not knowing exactly what I was asking of him. Now I know he's as smart as HE thinks he is. Did I say that? Well I know he's smart. My mother used to say the apple does not fall far from the tree!

Dan is studying film and documentaries and I figured this publishing business wasn't too far off from what he's doing anyway.  So we helped each other.

Now, if you know anyone who is looking to turn a manuscript into an e book, I know just the man.
Dan is the man.

That's what I've been doing the last week or so.

Quick report on Vada Faith. I gave away over 8,700 copies between Sat. and Sun. which were both free days. Sales have started to pick up a bit thanks to all the advertising Kindle does for its free books and those free days. Thanks Amazon!!!
 What are you into? Not much? Oh come on. Tell me what you are doing!
Love hearing from you. Blessings!

September 16, 2012

FREE Sunday

Gave away almost 6000 Kindle copies of Vada Faith yesterday so decided to add TODAY as another free day!

If you did not get your Kindle copy yesterday, then go get yours today.

The review and contest is still on. Will run through midnight tonight. Get me those reviews and win

a free signed copy of the paperback of Vada Faith.

Have a blessed Sunday!

September 12, 2012

Free - Vada Faith - Free - Sept. 15 - Read it! Review it!

On September 15 my novel - Vada Faith - will be free on Kindle. People have categorized this story as chick lit, general fiction, contemporary fiction, light romance, mainstream, and women's fiction. As for me, I call it a relationship book though there is no such genre. It revolves around the surrogacy that main character, Vada Faith, becomes embroiled in. It pulls in every member of her family and the community. Some of the problems that arise are her own fault due to selfish decisions, others erupt simply from the circumstances she finds herself in - a verbal surrogacy agreement with a couple who end up being small time criminals - not a good idea from the get go. Does this couple want a baby? Yes! Desperately! Do they deserve one? We'll see. You'll travel the road with Vada Faith as she moves from her family to her husband's family to an appearance on a talk show, pleading her case for being a surrogate mother in the small town of Shady Creek, West Virginia. Is her husband happy about her predicament? Uh, no. Did she explain in depth what she was doing to her handsome husband, John Wasper Waddell, once the high school football hero. Find out when you read.
Don't forget the date, September 15th. Free from midnight to midnight at
Read it free and leave comments on Amazon. Then, send me your review at, my email. I'll post all the reviews on my blog.

Review is my new favorite word after writing and reading. Ah, reviews. Bring them on!

After all that work you'll need a little token, say a beautiful new author signed paperback of the novel Vada Faith, to the person who writes the best review. This does not mean the person who likes my book best. It will go to the person who writes the best review, whether it's a kind review or a negative one. Just a purely well written review. I'll have someone other than myself read and judge. Ummmm! I know! My English Professor friend, Liz. How does that sound?
She likes my stories but she likes well written sentences best!

Are you in???? Well I am and I'm excited. Now I need at least two reviews to make the judging legitimate so please go get those books free on Sept. 15. Read and then write a review. Review does not have to be that long. A few paragraphs. Oh, goody. More writing to read.

September 6, 2012

Help, I'm falling!

Help, I'm falling was just a title to get you over here. I have a dilemma. I want to revamp my blog and need suggestions. Since I have hardly anyone reading my blog, I realize I must make some changes or I'm never going to make it in the blogger world.

Since it's supposed to be a blog about writing and I've often strayed from my purpose for this blog, do you have any ideas? Change the title and change what I'm writing about???  Writing is only half of my life. The other half is filled with family, husband, daughters, three son in laws, eight grand children. All of those are important to me and I can't leave anyone out of my posts.

I've spent some time browsing other blogs and see lots of photos. I'm not very tech savvy and need to figure out how to put photos on here. How important are photos to you when checking out a blog post?

Another thing I'm seeing is giveaways. I love a good giveaway myself. Is that what draws you to a blog? Are you looking to get a giveaway? And what kind of giveaways do you like best???

I have no idea about any of this. I only know I need to bring some change to my blog.

Why are you prompted to read one blog over another? I know from experience that we get to know certain bloggers and like to check back from time to time to see how they are faring. I love Margaret Dilloway's blog and always read it. But then I notice she does not have a lot of readers. HOW do we get readers, those of you who are successful at this?

And last but not least what if anything do you like about my blog? Do you like the short stories? Do you want to hear about family or my writing struggles or both??? Or NONE? I want the truth here.

Thanks for giving me some ideas on how to improve my blog.

I haven't posted lately because I've been soul searching about whether to continue with the blog or just throw in the towel. I have the time to post. I'm just bored by my own blog. And if I'm bored I figure you are too.

Please leave a comment if you read this and give me some help here!

Many thanks! Have a good one. Blessings to all.